My name is Porsche Donna Cahill, and I am an Aboriginal woman from the Kakadu area.
I joined IAHA Group Training in year 11 through the Northern Territory Allied Health Academy as a school-based trainee to learn more skills, give back to the northern territory’s communities, and later professionalise in all different areas of health. My host employer was Menzies School of Health Research, where I learned so much, and the IAHA team were always there to make sure I was supported for my on-the-job training.
The IAHA staff has helped and guided me into the person I aspired to be and become a role model in my own way. I have grown tremendously since the start of 2020, including my career, attitude by taking steps out of my comfort zone and using the appropriate language at the right time. In the beginning, I struggled a lot with understanding myself. I was very stubborn, I wasn’t confident in myself, and I had a short temper; however, now I can admit my wrongs and ask for help without feeling ashamed, judged, or unethical. I stop and think about what I’m going to say. My consequences and I have a better understanding of how the world works. I still have a long list of self-improvements and want to tick off what is involved in my everyday life task.
I am still really interested in a career in the health industry because I get to care for my family and help other families. The most rewarding feeling is knowing that you are changing Australia’s health status one person at a time, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from all other backgrounds.
The most enjoyable moments for me are the little walks that we go on around campus and talk about what’s happening in our lives. These moments have been the most enjoyable because we often assume that people will always feel good – this is a good way of interacting with people and making lifelong connections.
One challenge that I had to overcome, or face is how to brush off uncomfortable situations, be more open about how I’m feeling, and not try to bottle everything up because I think no one cared about me or my feelings. But on the other hand, the staff always supported me through my challenges.
All the IAHA staff stand out in their own unique way but what makes me different is that I have a lot of passion for what I love and care about, and I am not afraid to voice my opinion and others.
The personal characteristics I obtain are honesty, courage, kindness, integrity, determination, and sincerity.
The advice I would like to give others is that IAHA Group Training and the IAHA National Academy allows you to grow and learn in a space where you are comfortable and safe – the kind of support that gives is incredible. Down to the very little things like food, someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on and schoolwork, the staff supports you personally and only to your comfort zone.
Since completing my school-based traineeship, I have now moved onto a new full-time traineeship with Menzies School of Health Research, and I am looking forward to my new journey, knowing the IAHA team will still be there to support me.